Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to pay Brave to go ad-free?
No, Brave will always be free to use — you don’t need to pay to block ads and tracking.
We encourage you to support your favorite publishers with Brave Rewards, or get compensated for paying attention to Brave Ads, but these features are both completely voluntary. You can use one, the other, both, or neither.
Will Brave sell user data to advertisers?
We do not have access to identifiable user data. The anonymized aggregated ad campaign related data we do collect is used for accounting and reporting, but this data cannot be mapped back to devices or user identities of any kind. Learn more
Will Brave use the "Acceptable Ads" model?
Some have asked that when we do eventually allow select ads through, whether we will employ the “Acceptable Ads” model. There are two parts to that model, filter rules and business deals. Take the second first:
We do not use the business model of taking annual fees from advertisers to allow their ads (and trackers for confirmation) to pass unblocked. Our business model does not couple our ad and flat fee based revenue to which ads we block.
We do use some of the filter rules that are associated with “Acceptable Ads” to block known-bad domains and URL patterns; and to block and clean up after HTML-native ads.
How do you relieve concerns that you are spyware?
We use all-open source, and we welcome help in auditing our source and verifying our binaries on Debian Linux (verified binaries provably derive from a given version of open source).
Watch Brendan speak about this here for more on verified builds.
Beyond this lower-level auditing, we will need partners to believe in our anonymous ad attribution and conversion confirmation system. More on this as we build it out in near-term milestones on the road to Brave 1.0.
Are all ads blocked or can users allow some or all?
Tracking scripts (trackers) and ads that depend on them are blocked by default. You can allow ads and trackers in the Shields settings globally and for each site.
Brave allows you to opt into Brave Rewards, which includes privately matched ads that do not track you, and that pay you a revenue share to support the creators you like.
Where will the ads in Brave’s new system come from? In what way is this an improvement?
In 2016, Brave introduced proposal for a private and anonymous third-party ad-replacement system. We are pleased that it generated an informed and vital debate regarding the problem of uncontrolled trackers and ad exchanges, which in the worst cases spread malware through unaware publishers.
In 2017, we are focusing on the Basic Attention Token (BAT), and the ecosystem that it will enable, offering users and publishers a better way to fund the Web. With BAT (along with staking users with a share of tokens), Brave will work to offer privately-matched, anonymously-verified ads. Users can opt-into this.
Brave is working with verified publishers (hundreds of whom have already joined via publishers.brave.com) to help generate greater revenue per user than they receive from today’s broken ad-tech ecosystem.
More information regarding the Basic Attention Token is available here.
What does it mean that a user can opt into receiving ads?
Brave blocks ads and trackers by default. We will soon release the ability for users to opt into receiving some ads. We will offer this option as another way — beyond Brave Payments — that users can support publishers.
When they do appear, there will be fewer but higher quality ads. Rest assured, that even if you opt into receiving these ads, trackers will still be blocked and your privacy will still be protected. We will provide more detail around this feature when it is ready.
Why build a browser and not extensions for top browsers?
Extensions face API and performance limits. Additionally, popular extension stores often host malicious counterfeit extensions, which have lead to millions of infected users.
Building our own browser lets us put our best foot forward on matters of speed and privacy. We may do extensions if our users find themselves browsing in other browsers often.
Will Brave standardize its intent-casting protocol?
We intend to when multiple partners in different regions have helped shake it out. It’s a capital mistake to standardize prematurely, so we must first innovate, deploy, and learn.
How are ads targeted based on browser-side intent signals?
As mentioned above, the browser knows almost everything you do. It knows what sites you visit, how much time you spend on them, what you look at, what is visible “above the fold” and not occluded by opaque layers, what searches you make, what groups of tabs you open while researching major purchases, etc.
Only the browser, after HTTPS terminates and secure pages are decrypted, has all of your private data needed to analyze user intent. Our auditable open source browser code protects this intent data on the client device. Our server side has no access to this data in the clear, nor does it have decryption keys. We do not run a MitM proxy or VPN service.
We provide signals to the browser to help it make good decisions about what preferences and intent signals to expose to maximize user, publisher and advertiser value. Each ad request is anonymous, and exposes only a small subset of the user’s preferences and intent signals to prevent “fingerprinting” the user by a possibly unique set of tags.
Why doesn’t Brave block ads on search engine result pages?
While we will block third-party cookies where you have no first-party relationship with the cookie’s domain, we don’t block first party cookies by default.
However, the Brave user will have the option to selectively block/enable cookies globally or on a site-by-site basis. Google will only have the ability to track you within their own domain and they won’t be able to use that information to target you outside of google.com.
Brave Rewards General
What is Brave Rewards?
Brave Rewards lets you anonymously support the sites you visit. With Brave Rewards, your browser tallies the attention you spend on the sites you visit and divides up a monthly BAT contribution among sites based on your attention.
Nobody will know which sites you visit or support — including us here at Brave Software.
How do I fund my Brave Wallet?
No registration is required to fund your wallet via cryptocurrencies; users can add funds with BTC, LTC, ETH or BAT by making a transfer to the corresponding wallet address. Note that non-BAT funds sent to the Brave wallet will automatically be converted to BAT, and the balance will be held in BAT by your wallet.
For users who wish to convert fiat into BAT, you can do so by registering with Uphold or other exchanges. Note that for exchanges other than Uphold, a standard cryptocurrency network fee will apply to the transfer in addition to any exchange fee.
In the future we will add the ability to directly fund your wallet with a credit card in the browser.
(Please note that you cannot transfer BAT out of your Brave wallet. The Brave BAT wallet is unidirectional (as was the Brave Rewards Bitcoin proof-of-concept system), and its sole purpose currently is to anonymously and securely contribute to publishers of websites of your choosing.)
Will I be notified when the contributions and tips actually happen?
Tips are deducted from your wallet as you make them, and submitted for processing. Each new tip is recorded in your Rewards settings. Auto-contributions are processed every 30 days, and you will be notified prior to your monthly contribution day.
Note: Because your tips and contributions are anonymous, it is not possible to notify you when they are received by the publisher/creator. However, at the end of the month, the Publishers are paid out.
What happens if I have money in my Brave wallet and my computer crashes or is stolen or lost?
Your Brave wallet comes with a set of anonymized recovery codes, accessible on the Payments Preferences page. Click on the “Advanced Settings” gear icon, then choose “Backup your wallet”. You can copy, print, and/or file your anonymized recovery codes.
It is important to note that it is your sole responsibility to store these codes in a safe and secure place (or perhaps multiple places) for safekeeping, since neither Brave Software, Uphold, nor anyone else is able to recover the funds in your Brave wallet if you lose these codes, so choose the place or places you store your anonymized recovery codes wisely.
Can I refund money that I've placed into my Brave BAT wallet?
Not yet. The Brave BAT wallet is currently unidirectional, and its sole purpose is to anonymously and securely contribute to publishers of websites of your choosing.
In the future, the Brave wallet will give users the option of going through a “Know Your Customer” (KYC) process in order to gain full control over their BAT wallet, including the ability to transfer BAT out of the wallet.
What will happen to Brave Bitcoin wallets from the Brave Rewards beta?
Although the Bitcoin proof-of-concept is closing down soon after BAT Mercury launches, no sunset date is set. This will be done by disabling additional contributions in the Bitcoin proof-of-concept and distributing final contributions to existing publishers.
Is Brave Rewards available for mobile?
Brave Rewards is available for the desktop. However, a future update will include mobile integration.
What should I do if my wallet is corrupted?
If your wallet is corrupted you will need to recover your Brave wallet using your recovery keys. You can do this by one of two ways, both available from the Brave Rewards page within Preferences.
The first way is to click on the ‘Recover your Brave Wallet’ button on the ‘Hello! Unfortunately your active wallet has been corrupted.’ message. The second way is to click on the gear icon to open Advanced Settings for Brave Rewards, then click on the ‘Recover your wallet’ button.
Either way you choose, you will have the option to copy/paste your recovery keys or import them. If you choose to copy/paste, copy the words from your recovery key file and paste them into the ‘Recovery Key’ box on the Recover your Brave wallet dialog. Then click the ‘Recover’ button and you will see a message indicating your wallet recovery was successful. If you choose to import your recovery keys, click on the ‘Import recovery key’ button. A popup will display to allow you to navigate to the location of your backup file. Navigate to your file and select Open. You will see a message indicating your wallet recovery was successful.
If you do not have your recovery keys or have questions, please contact support at https://community.brave.com.
If you install Brave on two different computers, do you get two unique personas for the Brave Rewards system, or one?
Currently you get two personas, even though you can synchronise your computers with Brave. In the future, you will have a single persona that is synchronised securely and anonymously across all of your devices.
What does BAT stand for and what is it?
Ownership of the tokens carry no rights other than the right to use them as a means to obtain services on the BAT platform, and to enable usage of and interaction with the platform, if successfully completed and deployed.
The tokens do not represent or confer any ownership right or stake, share or security or equivalent rights, or any right to receive future revenue shares, intellectual property rights or any other form of participation in or relating to the BAT platform, and/or Brave and its affiliates. The tokens are not refundable and are not intended to be a digital currency, security, commodity or any other kind of financial instrument.
What should I do if I previously had a Brave Bitcoin wallet?
If you are a current user of the Brave browser and the Bitcoin proof-of-concept system, you do not need to do anything other than upgrade to your Brave browser when prompted. A new Brave wallet will automatically be created for you.
Additionally, if there’s a balance in your existing Brave wallet, then your browser will transfer the balance to the equivalent amount of BAT in your new Brave wallet.
You will however need to back up your new BAT wallet by clicking on the “back up your new wallet” button when prompted.
What if a site appears in my list that I prefer not to contribute to?
The Rewards Settings page displays a concise list of your most visited sites and/or channels based on your attention. You can remove any sites or content creators by editing the Auto-Contribute site list.
How does Brave protect against theft of funds?
Our servers never have custody of funds in users’ Brave wallets, since Brave doesn’t hold any of those keys. It is therefore not possible for theft of funds from users’ Brave wallets to happen via attacks against our servers.
Although we cannot initiate transfers, we do enforce restrictions on transfers made by the browser wallet, ensuring that they can only flow only through our settlement process. Attacks against the keypair held by the browser cannot move funds outside of this process.
Are my contributions and tips really anonymous?
All Brave Rewards analysis is done without disclosing your identity. The analysis is carried out on-device via statistical voting and over the network via the open source ANONIZE2 protocol, so that neither Brave, nor any other entity, can correlate browsing page views with contributions.
Where can I read the formal legal terms and conditions for Brave Rewards?
The BAT website features the terms of service for Brave Rewards.
What if I want to stop contributing or change my contribution amount, is that easy to do?
You can turn the Brave Rewards system on or off at any time using the switch found at the top of the Rewards Preferences page. You can also change the contribution amount at any time via the monthly budget menu, found on the same page.
Why are non-publisher websites showing up on my contributions list (seen on the Rewards Preferences page)? How is this list different from my browsing history?
Your browsing history simply includes all sites that you’ve visited. However, your Brave Rewards contributions list is intended to be limited to publisher sites you’ve visited and are potentially eligible to receive your contributions.
If you have the “auto-include” option enabled (found on the Rewards Preferences page), then sites that you visit and appear to be publishers are added to your contributions list automatically. You always have to ability to disable contributions to any site.
Brave’s exclusion list is curated over time based upon feedback from our community of users, and you can submit a request to remove a non-publisher site at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What should I do if I'm a publisher or creator?
If you are a publisher, or planning to verify as a publisher with Brave, you can sign up here. If you are already signed up, you need to use your login to your Brave Rewards publisher account to add your Uphold account and receive earnings that are transferred to your Uphold account by the 8th of every month.
Brave browser users can contribute to and tip their favorite content creators at any time privately, and their contributions are made available to content creators participating every month as earnings.
What is a "verified" publisher?
Before a publisher is able to receive contributions, they need to demonstrate that they control their domain (e.g. “example.com”). Brave uses a challenge-response protocol for this purpose.
If the exchange is successful, we know that our automated systems are communicating with the publisher who controls the domain. Brave Software neither endorses nor disavows sites that verify; we report whether they have verified or not.
What is an "unverified" publisher?
If a publisher has yet to sign up with Brave Rewards to earn rewards from Brave browser users, they are considered unverified. Publishers can sign up at anytime to become “verified” and claim their available earnings.
Why does Brave take 5% of my publisher contributions, isn’t this high compared to credit card fees which are typically 2.5%?
Credit card interchange fees may appear to total only a bit more than 2%, but due to chargebacks over fraud, merchants pay a heavy hidden fee. Also, our fee has to cover infrastructure costs which provide an always free Brave browser as well as the Brave Rewards system for publisher support. It is our intention to minimize those fees as we grow and realize economies of scale.
How does Brave distribute my contribution among publishers?
Your monthly contribution is created using a computer algorithm which takes into account things like number of visits each site, the time spend on each page, etc. It does this securely and anonymously.
As your monthly contribution time approaches, you’ll receive an in-browser alert allowing you to review and adjust contributions before they are processed.
How are publishers/websites notified of my contributions?
Publishers that are part of the Brave rewards program that have signed up here get notified when funds are transferred to their accounts every month. If the owner of the account has an Uphold account created, after transfers of BAT, or fiat equivalent of BAT, an email is sent to the owner.
If the owner of the account has yet to register an Uphold account, an email is sent letting the owner know that they should create an Uphold account and their earnings will be sent to their account the following month.
How do I collect tips and contributions as a publisher?
A “verified” publisher simply needs to establish an Uphold account to collect and/or convert BAT contributions . Contributions accrued on a monthly basis are processed and sent to the Publisher’s Uphold account using their choice of currency.
If a “verified” publisher is participating in the Brave referral program, payments for all confirmed Brave users will be also be paid out during this cycle. The cycle repeats each month and payments are normally paid out by the 8th of every month.
An “unverified” publisher needs to become verified before connecting their Uphold account. More details are available at publishers.basicattentiontoken.org.
Where does my contribution go if a publisher/website is not part of this program yet?
Publishers must verify ownership of their properties with Brave in order to receive contributions from Brave users. If a publisher has not verified ownership, then a user’s contributions will be held in reserve inside the browser for 90 days. The browser routinely updates an internal list of all verified publishers to determine whether a property can receive contributions. At the end of the 90 day period, any contributions marked for unverified publishers will be released back to the wallet. No funds leave the browser except to go to verified creators.
Previous versions of Brave
Previous versions of the Brave desktop browser worked differently. Until version 0.58.21, released on January 11, 2019, browsers with Brave Rewards enabled would contribute BAT to content creators whether or not they had verified. Brave would then hold contributed funds for those publishers in escrow until they’d verified.
Brave servers will continue to hold previously-contributed BAT on behalf of those unverified publishers, in the following manner:
- Funds that were contributed from a token grant provided by Brave will be returned to Brave’s User Growth Pool if the funds remain unclaimed for a year.
- Funds that were contributed from user-funded wallets will be held indefinitely, until the publisher verifies and transfers them to their own wallet.